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Yet Another Corporate Front Group: "Save Our Secret Ballots"

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:36 PM
Original message
Yet Another Corporate Front Group: "Save Our Secret Ballots"

http://www.seiu.org/2009/01/yet-another-corporate-front...


5:00 PM Eastern - January 12, 2009
Yet Another Corporate Front Group: "Save Our Secret Ballots"
By Michael Whitney

Meet the new Right-to-Work-for-Less laws: state ballot initiatives to mandate "secret ballot" elections for union votes, trying to preempt the Employee Free Choice Act. On December 30, 2008, a new coalition calling itself the "Save Our Secret Ballot" (SOSB) coalition emerged onto the scene, announcing an under-the-radar state-level campaign to amend the state constitutions of Arizona, Arkansas, Missouri, Nevada and Utah to require a secret-ballot election for union representation.

What we really have here is yet another misleadingly-named corporate front group, whose real goal is to prevent workers from having a voice in an economy that works for everybody, not just for the wealthy. In Nevada and Utah, the legislature would place the proposed amendment on the ballot, while the coalition has begun to gather signatures in Arizona, Arkansas, and Missouri. SOSB hopes to expand its efforts to put initiatives on the ballot to prevent workers from opting in to form unions through majority sign-up to additional states.

Save Our Secret Ballot (SOSB) is a coalition of right-wing think tanks whose ideas have led us into the current economic crisis, working with individuals with ties to the Jack Abramoff scandal and a recent high-profile financial scandal.

Proposed State Constitutional Amendment

The 47-word amendment reads:

"The right of individuals to vote by secret ballot is fundamental. Where state or federal law requires elections for public office or public votes on initiatives or referenda, or designations or authorizations of employee representation, the right of individuals to vote by secret ballot shall be guaranteed."

The proposed language would require a secret ballot for any election required by state or federal law for:

(1) public office
(2) public initiatives or referenda
(3) employee representation

SOSB suggests that elections for homeowner associations and corporate boards may also be impacted by amendment language in some states.

Who is SOSB?

SOSB appears to be a project of the Goldwater Institute (which wrote the language) and the Heritage Foundation (whose representative chairs the SOSB national advisory board). The SOSB coalition itself has a national advisory board and a number of local supporters who have also been named in the press surrounding the public campaign kickoff.

The SOSB coalition refuses to disclose donors.

FULL story at link.



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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:40 PM
Response to Original message
1. And so it begins
I have a terrible feeling that we are going to get absolutely steamrolled by these corporate groups on the EFCA.
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joeunderdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Not thrilled with my SEIU local right now...
but I know the other side is the dark side, death to fair wage.
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doc03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:03 PM
Response to Original message
3. This may be unpopular here but I think it is un-American
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 08:16 PM by doc03
to deny a person to vote by secret ballot. By not having a secret ballot that would subject employees to intimidation from the Union and the Company. Can you imagine if we had to vote for President by a show of hands of filling out a ballot with your identity on it. I am a Union member myself but don't see the fairness in this. I think if the Unions want more members they should set their sights on the right to work laws. I witnessed a vote in my local one time when our local officers voted to take a non-secret vote on District director. They had the people that backed the establishment candidate stand on one side of the hall and us who wanted the reform candidate stand on the other side, needless to say there were only a handful that would take a stand against the establishment candidate. Here is exactly how it went down we were to go to the Hall and vote by secret ballot. The Union Officers packed the Hall with all their supporters and they took a show of hands vote to suspend the rules on the vote and that's how it went down. This is not a lie, it's absolutely fact.
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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. The Act does not take away an employees right to a secret ballot

Not every union follows the rules. A call to the NLRB to complain about union tactics is free and anonymous. The NLRB also over sees this kind of activity. I too am being honest.

Currently the EMPLOYER decides to accept card check OR demand a secret vote. EFCA changes the power of the choice to the employee. The employee simply picks card check or private vote. Think about it. The EMPLOYEE has the choice. Read the proposed act without a union thug or right winger looking over your shoulder.


Read the text of the Employee Free Choice Act: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:H.R.800 :


What is the Employee Free Choice Act?

The Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 800, S. 1041), supported by a bipartisan coalition in Congress, would enable working people to bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions by restoring workers freedom to choose for themselves whether to join a union. It would:

* Establish stronger penalties for violation of employee rights when workers seek to form a union and during first-contract negotiations.
* Provide mediation and arbitration for first-contract disputes (PDF).
* Allow employees to form unions by signing cards authorizing union representation.


BTW, I was fired illegally in 1980 for union organizing.

Here is my NLRB file: http://www.nlrb.gov/shared_files/Board%20Decisions/261/...


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doc03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. We had 5 people who had the
the balls to stand beside the candidate and about 200 on the other side. Now if you file an anonymous complaint with the NLRB just how hard would it be to figure out who did it? If that is the case it's up to the employer to decide if its card check off or a secret ballot I don't agree with that either. I also don't believe it should be up to the employee to decide, same case there if someone selects the secret ballot I think his co-workers and the employer generally know which side he is backing. I would support only a secret ballot, like I said that is Un-American and un-democratic in my opinion. As far as filing with the NLRB on that case it was 20 years ago and I have a year to retire and will be happy just to not deal with them anymore.
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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 06:07 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. I'm lost

"if someone selects the secret ballot I think his co-workers and the employer generally know which side he is backing."

You want a secret ballot but say the the employer will know who backed who anyway. Then what protection does the employee have for a legal & protected activity or organizing in the first place? It would seem there is no difference between the choices by your logic.

OS



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doc03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 09:07 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. My point is I don't think it's fair or
Edited on Thu Jan-22-09 09:18 AM by doc03
(democratic) for the Company, the Union or the employee to choose the process. What do you have against a democratic secret ballot for everyone period? The Union wants to expose the employees to intimidation to join the Union, the whole idea is to make it easier to organize. I don't think you would want such a system in our governmental elections. There are many employees that don't belong to a Union and are satisfied with their employer. If you go for a mandatory secret ballot for Union representation I would be 100% behind it and I also oppose the RTW laws. The checkoff idea is to force people by intimidation to vote for the Union. If you have a mandatory secret ballot it is fair to all in my opinion. I understand you being a Union Organizer you want the deck stacked in your favor, why not make it fair on both sides? Under the system you are advocating you have a meeting with all the employees (say 100) and take a vote for everyone to sign a check-off card in front of their peers but 52 choose to take a secret vote you know who to work on to change their vote and the company doesn't. Don't tell me the Unions aren't capable of intimidating people. I remember when Jock Yablonski tried to unseat incumbent President Tony Boyle at the UMWA and when reform candidate Ed Sadlowski went up against establishment candidate Lloyd McBride for the USWA.
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doc03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. If an employee
wants a secret ballot rather than (sign his name on a card where all his co-workers can see how he voted) you don't think people could figure out how he voted. I'm lost. What the heck is wrong with a secret ballot, this is America not Cuba? You won't answer that question. You know darn well why you want the check-off card, don't play dumb. If the work force votes by secret ballot and the majority votes for the Union, fine. The Union wants people to sign cards so they can identify who to coerce into joining the Union. A persons vote is between him and his family it is none of a Union Organizer's business how he votes, that's what is called democracy.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:12 PM
Response to Original message
4. Unfortunately, the FACTS of the situation are not getting "out there"
because the media is not giving the people the necessary information.. There hasn't been any coverage on this vital piece of legislation, much less a breakdown of what it would mean to American workers...

I'm sure their coporate offices are delighted that the ONLY mention of it on TV is in those misleading ads...
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